The Best of Persia – Iran 7 day Tour
Summary of Itinerary
(3N Tehran, 2N Isfahan, 1N Shiraz
Day 1- Tehran: Airport Transfer
Day 2- Tehran
Day 3- Tehran – Kashan – Isfahan
Day 4- Isfahan
Day 5- Isfahan – Shiraz
Day 6- Shiraz
Day 7- Tehran: Airport Transfer
-Hotels (3 Star) with Breakfast
-English-Speaking Tour Guide
-Lunches & Dinners
Tehran: Airport Transfer
After arriving at Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) in Tehran, our representative will meet and greet you at the airport. The local representative will transfer you to your hotel to rest.
This morning, we will take you to a World Heritage Site, the lavish Golestan Palace. Built during the Qajar Dynasty, that rose to power in the late 1700s, this fabulous walled complex is centered on a landscaped garden with tranquil pools. Many of the elements you’ll admire today, date to the 19th century when local Qajari architects and artisans were looking to integrate traditional Persian style with elements of Western and Russian origin. The palace buildings are among the oldest in modern Tehran and they are still regarded as a crowning achievement of the Qajar era. Then, we will walk around Tehran Bazaar.
In the afternoon, you will visit the National Museum of Iran, where you can see fabulous historical items from 5000 BC to the advent of Islam in Iran which shows brief history of our land. We will also visit the Carpet Museum of Iran, home to a dazzling collection of Persian carpets collected from around the country and representing centuries of extraordinary art and skill.
Tehran – Kashan – Isfahan
Leaving Tehran behind, we’ll travel south to Kashan, a town originally famous for its textiles and ceramic production, but now better known for Fin Garden and its extensive bazaar and hamams. Fin Garden (A UNESCO World Heritage Site) is our first stop; a relaxing and visually impressive Persian garden with water channels all passing through a central pavilion. There is also the chance to buy some rose water, a local specialty, outside of the site.
Then, you will visit Boroujerdi Traditional House. It was built about 130 years ago in reign of Qajar dynasty (1857) by Iranian famous architect Ustad Ali Maryam. The owner was Haj Seyed Hasan Natanzi, a well-known merchant who mostly dealt with people of Boroujerd city. That’s why the house is known as Boroujerd's House. Afterwards, we will visit the bazaar area, a widespread complex filled with hamams and mosques; one hamam has been converted to a traditional teahouse where we will stop for those who need a break from shopping. Late in the afternoon, we will move towards Isfahan.
As the 17th-century capital of the Safavid Empire, Isfahan was one of the world’s greatest cities– architecturally striking, wealthy beyond imagine, and politically powerful with Europeans, Ottomans, Indians and Chinese coming to its court– the heart of a vast Persian Empire that stretched from the Euphrates River in present-day Iraq to the Oxus River in Afghanistan. Indeed, its grandeur inspired the rhyming proverb, Isfahan nesf e jahan (Isfahan is half of the World).
Your exploration starts in Imam Square. This 17th-century site is one of the largest public spaces in the world. Here in the square, you’ll visit the 17th-century Shah Mosque, revered as a masterpiece of Islamic architecture and easily recognized by its magnificent tile-work and soaring cupola and minarets. You will also visit Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, also known as the Ladies Mosque, as it was built for the Shah's harem, renowned for brightly colored domed ceiling, where the light creates the image of a peacock. In the Ali Qapu Palace, you’ll marvel at its beautiful music rooms and the balconies where Safavid kings would sit to enjoy the polo matches unfolding in the square below.
You’ll end your exploration of the square by visiting the Qeisarieh Bazaar. With hundreds of local vendors that specialize in traditional arts and crafts, it’s a wonderful place to shop for pottery, enamel, jewelry and delicately inlaid board games.
Next up is Chehel Sotun Palace. Set in a landscaped and forested park in front of a tranquil reflecting pool, this graceful pavilion was built by Shah Abbas II for entertainment and court receptions. Entering through a portico with twenty slender wooden columns, you’ll discover soaring halls embellished with frescoes, paintings and mosaics; the Hall of Mirrors is especially breathtaking!
In the city’s Armenian quarter, you’ll delve more deeply into the region’s complex history as you will visit several churches including the 17th-century Vank Cathedral with its lavishly decorated interior and unique blend of Islamic and European architectural elements. If time permits, visit Si-o se pol and/or Khaju Bridge.
Isfahan – Shiraz
Today, we have a full day of driving to reach our destination of Shiraz; it is a good idea to stock up on locally bought and easily found dates and pistachio nuts for the journey. First, you will visit Pasargadae, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Tomb of Cyrus the Great and former capital of the Achaemenid Empire. We will spend some time exploring the site and though not as striking as Persepolis, there is a great viewpoint where we can look over the site and the surrounding area. From here, we will drive a couple of miles to Naqsh-e-Rustam, the Necropolis where Darius and his successors are buried. Carved into the side of a cliff, the site is extraordinary in its magnitude and sheer ambition and does not disappoint even after the impressive Persepolis.
Then, we will have some stop on our way to visit the Legendary City of Persepolis, the former capital of Darius the Great which was founded in 512 BC. There was no more impressive construction in the ancient world than Persepolis, except perhaps the Karnak in Egypt. Darius built the terrace, Apadana (great audience hall), Tachana (a palace), and the Monumental Staircases; his son, Xerxes, added the Harem and the Hall of 100 Columns. Alexander the Great entered Persepolis in January 330 BC and then committed an uncharacteristic act of wanton destruction that still mystifies historians today, burning the mighty city to the ground. Though a shadow of its former self, the soaring pillars, terraces and sculptures of Persepolis still remain, but probably most impressive are the bas reliefs which line the site, telling the story of ancient governors and kings that came to Persepolis to pay tribute to the Persian Emperors. Continue to Shiraz and check into the hotel.
After breakfast, you will visit Nasir-al-Mulk Mosque (Pink Mosque) which is few steps far from Vakil Bazaar. It was built at Mirza Hassan Ali Nasir-al Mulk’s command (one of the lords of the Qajar Dynasty); it took 12 years to complete it in 1888. Its interior reveals a magnificent masterpiece of design with stunning colors. This is a space where light and worship intertwine. The mosque comes to life with the sunrise and the colors dance throughout the day like whirling Dervishes. It reflects on the ground, walls, the arches and the towering spires. It even reflects on the visitors as if a colorful ball is hit by the first sun ray and has exploded into thousands of butterflies all around. Continue your exploration in Shiraz at the beautiful orange-scented Narenjestan Garden, laid out in the 19th century during the Qajar Dynasty. Then, you will visit Karim Khan Citadel which was built during the Zand Dynasty. You’ll have time to explore and shop in the bustling Vakil Bazaar, home to hundreds of stores, beautiful courtyards, and even an ancient caravanserai.
You will end your visit on a tranquil note in the lovely garden-tomb of Sa’adi and garden-tomb of Hafez, two of our most outstanding poets to feel the taste of Persian Literature. Hafez is one of the great poets who has impressed everyone with his mastery. His poems give us a special feeling and the peace in his tomb is really outstanding. Sa’adi is a poet, philosopher and mystic who is known as the father of alternative tourism. About seven centuries ago, he travelled to different countries and cities. Then, he collected all his experiences in verses and rhymed prose in two books named Boustan and Golestan. These two books give you lots of inspiration and information. We will get a chance to pay homage to tombs of these great poets.
In the evening, you will take a flight back to the capital (Tehran).
Tehran: Airport Transfer
Our representative will transfer you to Imam Khomeini International Airport according to your flight time.